In theory, most of July and August has been my “break” from a busy performance schedule this year. In reality, during this time I’ve composed and recorded a new piece for the next installment of Ian Boddy’s Tone Science modular compilations, mixed my next full-length album and sent if off for mastering, worked with my creative wife Trish to create a new logo for Alias Zone and spread it across my various platforms, have been creating a brand-new set to play in various forms at my remaining gigs this year, and launched a new Membership option on the Learning Modular/Alias Zone YouTube channel. The details behind those are below:


  • featured articleHow do I prepare for a live modular performance? What gear to I bring, how do I pack it, and how to I plan for what might go wrong? Here’s a few things I’ve learned over this past year in particular.
  • Alias Zone updatesMy next album is off being mastered! My wife Trish also created a new logo for Chris Meyer’s Alias Zone.
  • Learning Modular updatesI’m introducing Channel Memberships on YouTube as a less expensive way for you to get access to some of my modular video archives.
  • Patreon updatesI wrote up a detailed breakdown of a new track I just recorded for the next Tone Science compilation, plus an adventure in tracking down noise.
  • upcoming eventsI will be playing solo at the Chill-Out Room during Knobcon in September and the Press Club in Albuquerque in October, plus as part of the duo Meridian Alpha at Synthplex at the end of October.
  • one more thingWMD is one of the latest modular companies to announce it will be closing its doors. Is our world coming to an end?

Alias Zone Updates

Learning Modular Eurorack Expansion Extended

Part of the reason I booked so many performance this past year is to “encourage” me to compose more new material. As a result, I accumulated nearly four albums worth of songs, which I plan to release over the next year. The first of those has been sent off to Howard Givens (who has mastered numerous releases for Steve Roach as well as the Spotted Peccary label) for him to apply his magic. It will include remixed and enhanced versions of the songs Iceland, Shipwrecked, and The Cave (the embedded links will take you to the original live performance videos of those pieces). The release date has not been set yet; follow my Bandcamp channel to hear the news first.

I’ve also recorded a new track – Tempestarius – for the next all-modular Tone Science compilation on Ian Boddy’s DiN label. That won’t be released until next spring; in the meantime, I broke down each of the main sections of the track for my Patreon subscribers (see below).

Finally, in preparation for all of these new releases, my wife and fellow artist Trish Meyer created a new logo for me. It includes a custom font she designed for the words “Alias Zone” (inspired by the hand lettering by German graphic artist Hans Schmidt), and her own calligraphy for the words “Chris Meyer’s”. I’ve spread that around the various Alias Zone sites, including the header for my Bandcamp page that you see above.

Learning Modular Updates

Has one of my videos saved you time, solved a mystery, or taught you a new technique? Do you want access to some of my archived module deep-dives or patch tricks without having to buy an entire course or subscribe to my Patreon channel? Do you just want to thank me for turning off advertising for all of my videos on my YouTube channel? But is money tight? If so, I’ve been working on an alternate way for you to support what I do, without spending a lot: a Learning Modular YouTube Channel Membership (click the Join button when you visit that page).

There are initially two tiers:

Tip Jar – $0.99/month (USD)

This is how you can say “thank you!” beyond a simple Like & Subscribe. A Loyalty Badge will also show others that you support creators like me – without going broke. Plus, you get access to members-only Community posts.

Raiding the Archives – $2.99/month (USD)

I’ve created well over a hundred videos that have not been made public – either as part of my online courses, special techniques videos I’ve created for user groups or Patreon, or early performance videos. I will be releasing these over time for my “Raiding the Archives” supporters. In particular, if there is a module (like the Make Noise tELHARMONIC, the first set of videos I uploaded for Members) where you’ve seen just the first video for free and want access to the rest of that set without buying an entire course, let me know and I’ll make it a priority to add it.

My Patreon channel will continue to be the place where I share all of my most recent activity, usually as long-form text articles supplemented by sound, photos, or video – so I still think that is your best option for me to share with you what’s in my head. But if you’re the type who prefers just watching a video compared to reading a detailed article, and aren’t ready to either buy a course or join Patreon, then a Learning Modular YouTube Channel Membership is another option. (And of course, there are also still over 175 movies available publicly & free on my YouTube channel.)

Patreon Updates

As I mentioned above, I was honored to be invited by Ian Boddy to submit a track for his next Tone Science modular-only compilation. Ian asks that we don’t share our tracks until a year after the compilation is released, and that’s currently scheduled for next spring. So in the meantime, I isolated each of the main “stems” for the piece, and gave a detailed explanation about how I patched and performed each part:

Also, I document my adventures tracking down and curing noise from an unexpected source: the display backlight in one of my modules.

Those posts are available to +5v and above subscribers. 

For those who have not looked into my Patreon channel (or at least, not recently), I have been morphing it from deep coverage of specific modules, to talking about what goes into composing, recording, and performing music with modular systems. There is still a lot of specific patch advice (most of which you can apply to your own collection of modules), but also more on the “ecosystem” that surrounds your modular. Plus, the archive of a few hundred previous posts – including module deep dives – is always up there for +5v and above subscribers as well. 

Upcoming Events

September 10: Chill-Out Room at Knobcon, 8:30 PM

I will be performing in at the Saturday evening Chill Out Room during Knobcon Number 10 in Schaumburg, Illinois. Jim Coker of Five12 (Meridian Alpha) and I will be among the acts playing in quad; we will be one of the earlier sets.

I will also be playing at the next New Mexico Control Voltage event October 1 at the Press Club in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition, I will be joining Jim Coker’s Meridian Alpha to perform in quad Saturday night October 29 at 7:30 PM at the Courtyard Stage during Synthplex in Burbank, California. I hope I get to see you at one of these events.

One More Thing…

There has been an alarming trend lately of modular synthesizer companies announcing that they will be ceasing production. For companies like Mutable Instruments and Synthesis Technology, it’s part of longer-term plans they put in motion before the pandemic (albeit, for very different reasons, and perhaps accelerated by current conditions); in the case of, they have been for sale for some time now. Others, like Future Retro recently closing, came out of the blue. 

But the recent news that shook many of us was when WMD announced that they will be closing shop later this year. They have just released three new products that will have limited runs of 600 modules each; most of their previously-released products that are still in stock are on sale direct from WMD for 30% off. After those are gone, that’s it – WMD will be closed.

A lot of the recent stress that many companies in our beloved industry has been feeling is the result of supply disruptions caused by the pandemic – from disrupted manufacturing and shipping schedules, to many parts manufacturers badly misjudging supply and demand fluctuations during the pandemic. Some of it dates back to the US’s trade war with China, which also raised the prices on many components. And some of it due to new disruptions caused by Russia’s deadly war with Ukraine. These have caused great pain to many manufacturers.

Another reason is very personal nature of this niche industry we play in. Unlike corporations like Roland and Yamaha and Korg that have a lot of inertia and which carry on despite changes in business conditions and management, most modular manufacturers are “boutique” operations run by as few as one person. And these very real, very human individuals can burn out – from the stresses of running their own company, to their own interests simply changing. (Please keep that human factor in mind when you see someone else bashing one of these companies for not doing exactly what they wanted.)

So as sad as it to see some beloved companies and personalities leave this little world we love so much, a certain amount of “turnover” or “churn” in our industry is going to be inevitable. We’re just witnessing it at a degree we have not previously experienced since the re-emergence of modular synths – admittedly hastened by recent world conditions. Fortunately, unlike old software which can suddenly be rendered obsolete by an operating system update, our hardware module synths will continue to help us create music for many decades to come – just as some of the original systems from the 60s are still working today. So don’t despair; keep making music – and be kind to the manufacturers who are still around.

After I finish my last gig of the year at Synthplex, I will be taking some time off to have hand surgery. As I recover from that, I look forward to working more in my studio, both releasing music I’ve already recorded, plus composing and recording new music. I also plan on performing again in 2023, although I will be looking for different venues and festivals to play (and if you run such a festival, please do get in touch!).

still excited about the future –